RESEARCH PAPER
Assessment of soil quality after biochar application based on enzymatic activity and microbial composition
 
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1
University of Agriculture in Kraków, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry, Mickiewicza 21, 31-120 Kraków, Poland
2
Department of Soil Science Erosion and Land Protection, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation-State Research Institute, Czartoryskich 8, 24-100 Puławy, Poland
3
Department of Microbiology, University of Agriculture in Kraków, Mickiewicza 24/28, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
4
Beskid Żywiec Sp. z o.o., Department of Research and Development, Kabaty 2, 34-300 Żywiec, Poland
5
State Agrarian and Engineering University in Podilya, 13 Shevchenko Str., Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine, 32300
Publish date: 2019-07-18
Acceptance date: 2019-03-11
 
Int. Agrophys. 2019, 33(3): 331–336
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ABSTRACT
Soil microorganisms play a key role in many biochemical processes essential for the environment and for the ecological and production functions of soils, hence they are very important quality indicators. The study aimed at evaluating the effect of 1 and 2% additions of wheat and miscanthus straw biochars on soil enzymatic activity (dehydrogenases, urease, phosphatases) and the number of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, actinobacteria). Pot experiments were carried out on soil with a loamy sand texture. The geometric mean of enzyme activities, biological index of fertility, and the integrated total enzyme activity index were used to explore the relationships between soil enzyme activities and the microbiological and chemical properties of soil. The addition of 1% miscanthus straw biochar had the most beneficial effect on the number of bacteria and fungi (increase by 380 and 26%, respectively), and 1% wheat straw biochar on the number of actinomycetes (increase by 273%). The correlation analysis between the number of actinomycetes and the chemical parameters of the soil showed the significant effect of the content of Ntotal (r = 0.76) and Ctotal (r = 0.85). The values of biological index of fertility, total enzyme activity index and geometric mean of enzyme activities indexes showed that the best quality of soil was produced by a 2% addition of wheat straw biochar.
 
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